Daily news summary News

07-03-2004

Freedom Union leadership to ask for confidence from national committee

The leadership of the junior government Freedom Union has called an extraordinary meeting of the party's national committee following the departure of two of its members of parliament. The chairman of the Freedom Union, Deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares said that the party leadership would ask for confidence at the extraordinary meeting on Sunday evening but he declined to speculate on what would happen if the result of the vote was negative. Two MPs for the Freedom Union, Tomas Vrbik and Marian Bielesz have left the party in protest at its participation in the Social Democrat-led government. Both MPs, however, decided to remain members of the Freedom Union parliamentary party, which means that the ruling coalition retains its slim 101-vote majority in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.

Dolejs: Communists willing to support Social Democrat minority government

Amid rising uncertainty about the stability of the ruling coalition, the deputy chairman of the opposition Communist Party, Jiri Dolejs, has said that, under certain conditions, the Communists would be willing to support a minority Social Democrat government. Speaking in a televised debate on Sunday, Mr Dolejs said that if the Social Democrats behaved as a left-wing party, the Communists would grant them tacit support. The Communist Party and the Social Democrats would have 111 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies.

Spidla: minority government not an option

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said on Saturday that he was not considering the option of forming a minority Social Democrat government. The prime minister and chairman of the senior coalition Social Democratic Party, made the statement after a second MP left the smallest party in the ruling coalition, the Freedom Union, on Friday, raising questions about the future of the governing coalition.

Klaus, Spidla pay homage to T. G. Masaryk

President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla have laid wreaths at the grave of the first president of Czechoslovakia Tomas Garrigue Masaryk to commemorate the 154th anniversary of his birth. Both politicians said they considered Tomas Garrigue Masaryk as the most significant personality in Czech history. The founder of the Czechoslovak state T. G. Masaryk was born on March 7, 1850 in the South Moravian town of Hodonin and died at the presidential Lany Chateau in 1937.

Spidla wants to remove silent discrimination of women

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said he would like to remove the silent discrimination of women in the labour market. Speaking at a seminar on the position of women in society two days ahead of International Women's Day, Mr Spidla said that women receive lower pay because employers doubt their ability to combine career and family - a presumption which Mr Spidla called prejudice. In the Czech Republic, women's wages are on average by 30 percent lower than men's which also results in their lower pensions. Prime Minister Spidla also said that the current low representation of women in high ranking political positions was unacceptable in the long term.

"Nuda v Brne" wins Czech Lion film award for 2003

The film "Nuda v Brne" or "Boredom in Brno" by director Vladimir Moravek has won the Czech Lion Award for best Czech film in 2003. The movie also received awards for best screenplay, best direction, best editing and best actor in a leading role at Saturday's award ceremony in Prague. Despite having been nominated in eleven categories, the film "Zelary", which was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year, took only two awards on Saturday.

Weather

Monday is expected to be partly cloudy with snow in places. Daytime temperatures should range from plus 1 to plus 3 degrees Celsius.

07-03-2004